It was a real nostalgic experience going back to Disneyland and Billy Bob’s saloon after many years absence. Disney village entertainment centre has been at the forefront of line dance in France ever since the park opened way back in 1992. A real live Western style saloon with country music where the tiny floor became home to the first French line dances under the instruction of Robert Wanstreet. We used to travel 3 or 4 times a week from Paris to strut our stuff under the eyes of the visitors who could watch the spectacle from the upper levels of the saloon.
The reason for the return visit was a long weekend devoted to presenting line dance in all its forms and in particular, getting the visitors involved by teaching them simple dances. Robert together with David Linger got the ball rolling on the outdoor stage showing simple one wall dances. It wasn’t long before the visitors joined in helped by more experienced dancers scattered among the crowd. Later in the evening the scene shifted to Billy Bob’s where Robert, making his come-back after many years absence, presented some of his latest choreographies.
During the rest of the weekend the public were treated to demonstrations from local clubs ranging from all-music line dances such as Geek in the Pink and Viva la Vida to out and out country lines with fabulous performances of country lines at competition level offered by couples champions Audrey Gendre and Jeremie Tridon and their team. Audrey and Jeremie also treated us to some of their couples routines.
It was great to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen for many years and to see they were still dancing. Bernard, Henri, Susanne, Chantal to mention but a few, and not forgetting Valerie Morel and her 10 year old daughter Marie who give free instruction in the saloon every Thursday evening.
Thanks goes to casting director Gilbert Rouit for paying homage to line dance and who was one of the first in France to realise its potential.